Feds: Former Lower Merion teacher traveled to Philippines for sex with minors – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Handcuffs, women’s underwear, and two notebooks filled with names of more than 70 underage girls were among items found in a Philippines hotel room rented to a former Montgomery County high school teacher who was charged Monday in Philadelphia with traveling overseas to have sex with minors.

U.S. prosecutors say that Craig Alex Levin, 63, of King of Prussia, was arrested May 24 in Cebu, Philippines, in the company of a 15-year-old girl he was taking to his room.

The girl later told investigators in that country that the retired educator had paid her for sex on three occasions over the last two years, offering her everything from $20 per session to chocolate and a bar of soap, according to the criminal complaint filed in his case. She also alleged that Levin had helped her obtain a fake ID to get past hotel security guards cracking down on the region’s prolific trade in sex tourism involving underage girls.

Investigators believe that the teen was only one of several girls whom Levin sought out over Facebook for illicit photos or liaisons during his frequent trips to the island nation.

Another 15-year-old girl has told Philippine authorities that she had sex with Levin several times after a teenage friend put her in touch with him over Facebook, the complaint says.

The notebooks found in his room listed the names of dozens of others, ranging in age from 12 to 17, each with annotations next to their names apparently ranking them numerically based on characteristics such as face, body, personality, and age, authorities said.

The case emerged from a joint investigation by the FBI, the Washington-based human rights organization International Justice Mission, the Philippine National Police, and other Philippine agencies.

But the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia would not say Monday whether Levin had been returned to the United States to face the charges filed against him here or whether he will remain in the Philippines until the case against him there is resolved.

It was unclear whether Levin had retained a lawyer.

Amy Buckman, a spokesperson for the Lower Merion School District, said Levin had been fired in 2007 after a 20-year career with the district, having taught at both Lower Merion and Harriton High Schools.

“The district learned that he had inappropriately used district internet resources and had job performance issues,” she said in an email. “LMSD immediately referred Levin’s conduct to law enforcement authorities. The district is not aware of victimization of any LMSD students by Mr. Levin.”

State records indicate that he allowed his teaching license to expire in 2008. But court filings do not show whether Levin was charged with a crime at the time. Buckman declined to elaborate on what led to his termination, saying it was a personnel matter.

She noted that the man charged Monday is not Craig R. Levin, who was employed by Lower Merion High School as an ice hockey coach between 2014 and 2017.

Powered by WPeMatico